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First half results show gap between Chinese 5G ambition and MNO finances

There has often been a gap between the bold ambitions of China’s government and the commercial realities of its mobile operators, and this has only been intensified by the very public disputes with the USA over 5G, trade and cybersecurity. Against that context, the national pride at stake in ‘winning the 5G race’ has become more important than ever, to both countries, and some of the statements and promises have gone well beyond what is commercially viable for MNOs to deliver. China’s four 5G licence holders – China Mobile, Telecom and Unicom plus the new mobile entrant, China Broadcasting Network – are state-controlled and so have somewhat different commercial and shareholder responsibilities to their counterparts in the USA. But they…

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